Onyebuichi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said the Special Public Works Programme which will engage 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will kick off today.
Keyamo, who broke the news via Twitter, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the date.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the take-off of the Special Public Works Programme (engaging 774,000 unemployed itinerant Nigerians) to begin nationwide on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021,” he said.
“All NDE state structures are already in top gear for the take-off ceremonies.”
The programme was earlier slated to kick off on October 1, but Keyamo had said the president approved the postponement of the scheme owing to floods in some of the project sites.
It was later moved to November 1.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the request of the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, to reschedule the commencement date of the Special Public Works Programme from the 1st of October to the 1st of November, 2020,” he had said.
“The approval is based principally on the Minister’s Memo to Mr. President informing him that most of the proposed project sites are still waterlogged and the rains have not abated, whereas the programme is designed for execution during the dry season.
“It is believed that by the 1st of November most of the project sites would be ready for work.”
The planned recruitment had also caused friction between members of the national assembly and Keyamo.
While federal lawmakers had accused Keyamo of hijacking the programme from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the minister alleged the legislators were the ones trying to take over the project.
Consequently, the National Assembly suspended the programme in the heat of its face-off with the minister, demanding further explanations.
But Buhari directed Keyamo to go ahead with the execution of the programme.
The programme is designed to employ 1,000 people from each of the 774 local government areas in the country and will be coordinated by constituted state committees.
The beneficiaries of the programme will also earn N20,000 monthly.
A total of N52 billion was voted for the programme in the revised 2020 bud